Ghetto Justice <怒火街頭>
TVB Series 2011
Cast: Kevin Cheng, Myolie Wu, Sharon Chan, Sam Lee, Eddie Kwan, Mandy Wong, Jazz Lam, Joyce Tang, Shek Shau, and others.
Remarks : This is a watch-as-I-write-from-memory episodic thought (a combination of episode summaries, reviews & critical analysis episode per episode) and therefore please take note that this write-up will contain MAJOR SPOILERS for this particular episode and some creative license was used when recreating certain scenes or dialogue. Please refrain from revealing future SPOILERS in this episode.
The Prosecutor vs Ko Wing Leung
The case : The murder of Yam Yuen Yuen, lover of Ko Wing Leung (I think)
Counsel for the state : The prosecutor, name probably unknown
Defense : Most probably Law Ba or maybe Kris or them together since they must have some opportunity to be together
NOT YET! So no new case today, may be “The illegal frisk of Ho Lei Jing” but that is not really a case yet although a new major character. This is the episode where we see the prejudiced Kris being even more prejudiced to the point frankly I feel like throwing rotten eggs at her.
But first… the recap…
I will try to keep it short and sweet but knowing me, it won’t be short but it could be sweet.
I called Sam Lee’s Ting Ka Fu as Ka Fu previously until I found out he is called Ah Teng by his friends so I shall continue to call him Teng.
Anyway Teng and his fellow social workers (all looking like some triad members) running after the homeless, giving them haircuts and baths. So dirty! I know HK has poor people, even those below poverty lines but frankly when I was SSP I did not notice prostitutes or homeless people. I do think SSP is not a very big street, and the scenes I see in this series, I kept seeing the wanton noodle shop I went to. Where was I? Oh yes, haircut. Job done, and then came a lady, the smelliest, dirtiest, not even the homeless will go near her and they discovered she is also mentally unstable, and as she ran away Teng and colleagues ran after her, ran into Mrs Leung and then continued the chase. To cut the not very long story to a very short story, Mrs Leung successfully persuaded the homeless woman to let go of one of the female social worker she was holding onto, and even bathed her later on.
Back at the centre, Law Ba and everybody except poor Chik was there, and they thanked Mrs Leung for her persuasive power and her quick thinking. Law Ba sorta scolded Teng “How come you go bath people and cut their hair ended up in a chase? You should be more careful!” and Teng seriously said “I have seen a lot of crazy people but none like her” and Mrs Leung said “Actually she is to be pitied. When I was bathing her, she told me a little of her past and she was jilted and cheated of her life savings. Very pitiful” and George said “Luckily Mrs Leung was there with her quick thinking in diffusing the matter” and Mrs Leung said “Ahhh what do I know? I am just a housewife and all I am good at is persuading small children and old people, like those in my home”. George then suggested “This centre needs people like Mrs Leung who knows how to deal with people. Mrs Leung, are you still looking for a job?”
Wait! Wait! Wait! Mrs Leung, aren’t you working for Auntie King?!?!?
Mrs Leung said “Actually, still looking”
Wait! Wait! Wait! Mrs Leung, what happened to Auntie King’s job????
George said “Teng, why not hire Mrs Leung at the centre? She can be very useful” and Mrs Leung modestly said “Really? But what can I do? I’m just a small housewife from China” and George said “Well you did graduate from school, you know English, I think you can do a lot. So Teng, what say you?” and Teng said regretfully “I am thinking about the centre’s budget. You know we can’t afford any more expenditures” and Law Ba smiled and said “How expensive can Mrs Leung’s salary be? I can take 2 more cases to pay for her salary” and Teng said “You sure you will bear that sum?” and Law Ba said “Mrs Leung, does your salary include soup for all?” and Mrs Leung was so happy she smiled widely and said “I will even make dessert!!” and Law Ba happily said “Ok then!!” and so it was done. Mrs Leung thanked everyone, especially Law Ba who smile.
You know, I am warming to Law Ba. I mean I like him, but this one act to Mrs Leung, it is an act of extraordinary kindness. He is basically paying her salary out of his own pocket. Very very generous.
Next scene, new character with an even weirder name. Is it the policy of this series to give everyone strange names?
We see Kris having lunch at a very expensive looking western/French restaurant and she overheard Sharon Chan dressed prettily in white commenting on the mushroom soup to the owner who praised her for her good taste when they saw each other and Kris smiled as Sharon was her secondary school best friend.
“Ho Lei Jing!!” and they greeted each other.
HO LEI JING??? To those who don’t understand, I will explain later when Chik will make the mistake this name is meant to make.
Kris asked about Jing and we found out she moved away overseas many years before to study and etc etc etc. Suddenly, they heard a commotion at a few tables away.
“Manager, I demand that you move these 2 people away from my sight. How can I enjoy my lunch looking at that thing eating?!” and we see the most obnoxious man, complaining about the guests at the next table, that is a mother and her disabled son eating. The manager said “Why don’t I move you to another table?” and obnoxious guy said “Why should I move? They should move! What an eyesore!!”
Seriously, such people do exist. The manager should have kicked him out of the restaurant.
The poor mother said “Son, maybe we should leave” and the son said “I want to eat the dessert first…” and Jing and Kris couldn’t stand it and Jing moved forward, scolding that obnoxious guest “You have the foulest smelliest mouth in this restaurant. The stench you left made us all puke!” and the guy obviously offended retorted “What is it with you then? You so like them, let them sit with you!!” and Jing wanted to scold him some more when Kris, doing the whole lawyer stand said “Sir, you are potentially breaching this young man’s rights and I am warning you, he can sue you for your insults” and the guy retorted “Who do you think you are to talk to me that way?” and Kris showed her card and said “I am barrister Wong Si Fu!” and the guy suddenly scared (errrr…. is being a barrister in HK like a cop? why be scared? Doesn’t he have other barrister friend?) and left, but cursed everyone. The mother and child and manager thanked them and they looked at each other and smile.
Some HK scenery promo time as our 2 best friends went strolling by the seaside reminiscing the old times and we found out in Form 1, they became friends after an incident where they and another girl were in toilet, the girl dropped a pack of ciggies and teacher walked in, asked who it was that smoke, the girl said Ho Lei Jing and Kris tried to explain it was the girl’s and teacher refused to believe since that girl is the headmaster’s daughter or something so can’t be that bad to smoke ciggies and so Ho Lei Jing had to be accused of something she didn’t do and later they do meet with the headmaster and headmaster asked why Kris called in to the radio station and complained about unfair treatment and Kris explained and the story ended with the headmaster punishing the right person and Ho Lei Jing asking the young Kris “In future if I ever need your help, will you help me again?” and young Kris said “Always!” and now present time, best friends laughing together and again we found out Jing’s mother passed away recently and she wants to open a French restaurant some day which was why she was at the restaurant learning the trade.
At this point I was thinking but isn’t she a prostitute? We shall know later…
Jing was buying some cook books by the roadside when Teng dropped by and wanted to buy some dictionary at a cheaper price. The seller chatted with Teng and agreed to a lower price for charity when Teng happily smiled and noticed Jing and said “You’re so kind! No wonder you have such a gorgeous customer today!” and Jing smiled and said to Teng “I have some French and foreign language dictionaries, I can send some to you” and Teng thanked her.
Meanwhile, SSP is suddenly full of lusty men as a new prostitute by the nickname “Sok Tui Tin Hao” (which in Cantonese means “Queen of Beautiful Legs” as she has a very long pair of legs) just moved to SSP recently. Mrs Leung was standing by the corner licking her ice cream (unbeknownst to her behind her was a poster of a very scantily clad girl licking some white stuff) and a lusty guy went to ask her about her price and she thought he was talking about the food she just bought. Anyway both realised the mistake and Mrs Leung was very offended wondering “Do I look like a prostitute? Why he thought I was doing business???”
Teng was delivering gas and oil around SSP area, now filled with lusty customers looking for that new prostitute and some customer said the lady has closed shop for the day and Teng walked up the stairs and overheard a guy saying to a woman “How about I tie you up? With the handcuffs?” and the woman kept saying “Look I am not interested ok!!” and it was Jing and Teng to the rescue, chased the guy away and said to Jing “Are you staying here? This place is very complicated, no security, no locks, you better be careful” and Jing said thanks and quickly left. As Teng walked up he saw the sign showing where to find the “Sok Tuk Tin Hao” and he shook his head mumbling “How stupid people can be to believe false advertising?”.
Why would a pretty girl like Jing become such a common prostitute?? We shall not find out today but I am sure will be explained.
Mrs Leung was at the centre, upset at her recent encounter when Teng said “He mistaken you for a prostitute? I mean, you’re so common looking…” and Mrs Leung stared at him. Everyone was complaining about the lack of morals and the new prostitute causing such a commotion when I think George or Teng received a call or something like that that the police just arrested a lot of prostitutes after an undercover operation and so George and Teng will need to go to the police to offer free legal representation. Everybody said “Why do you help these people?! They caused SSP to be so complicated!” and as George left he said “Well, however poor, however despicable, they still have one thing left” and they asked “What?” and he said smilingly “Human rights”.
Way to go George!!
At the station, Chik was there, very noisy, George and Teng arrived, and George explained “Everyone, remember, you only need to leave your name and contact number to the police, you don’t need to leave any other information, and do not simply sign anything they gave you, because I had a client who did that only to discover what he did wasn’t guilty of any crime” and you know, I know Chik will stare at George for what he said since he’s a cop and he said “WHAT? You think we are like that sort of cop?!” and George said “No no, just explaining their rights” as Chik said “We arrested them after an undercover operation! Advise them to plead guilty and to mitigate” as George said “It is not a crime to be a prostitute, although it is a crime to solicit” when the place was getting noisier and noisier.
What George meant is you can be a prostitute but you can’t actively go seek customers. I suppose if the customer walks to you, there is no crime.
Kris and assistant arrived and Chik was surprised and said “Eh Barrister Wong? What are you doing here? Today the only ones we have are prostitutes” as Kris said “Where is Ho Lei Jing?” and Chik went “Huh? WU LEI JING?” and Kris repeated “HO LEI JING, the one you mistakenly arrested as a prostitute!”
Now, Wu Lei Jing means Fox Demon = adulteress/seductress = slut. Ho Lei Jing is just an unfortunate name with the same sound; can’t blame Chik for the mistake.
Jing walked forward, looking embarrassed when Kris scolded “How you police do your job? Arresting an upstanding citizen as some common prostitute!” and Chik looked at his assistant, thinking they may have made a mistake when Kris said “Lei Jing, let’s go” and the prostitutes from China stopped Jing and said “She is the one that caused our business to go down! That infamous Sok Tui Tin Hao!” and Kris stared at Jing, and Jing was too ashamed to look at her in the eyes.
In the car, Kris refused to talk to Jing and Jing said “Thank you for your help” and cold treatment… icy cold….”I can explain…” and Kris refused to listen and handed her a bottle of water and said “Here, something for you to drink” and so silence… reached SSP, Jing was leaving and then turned to return the bottled water, said thanks again and left. Kris was very angry, wanted to go after Jing for an explanation and ended up throwing the bottled water into the garbage can with the look of utter disgust.
Reason 1 why I am beginning to hate Kris. Too judgmental.
Jing appeared at the centre the next day or something to hand over the dictionaries to Teng who was very courteous and thankful. Mrs Leung who didn’t know who she was thanked her profusely and offered her a cup of tea which the rest pulled Mrs Leung away and Jing then left, with George opening the door to her as she said thanks and he said in English “My pleasure” and everyone was looking at him why he was so polite to her and all.
I really like George here. Such a gentleman.
Later Mrs Leung found out Jing was a prostitute and then she did something that I feel Teng was right to chastised her; she began to use disinfectant to wipe the dictionaries which Jing just gave and Teng asked what she was doing and she innocently explained “Cleaning away the germs. Don’t know how many people have touched, this is for the students to use, must be clean!”
The difference between Mrs Leung and Kris is Kris should have known better. Mrs Leung was just ignorant but Kris was prejudiced.
Teng looked at Mrs Leung and solemnly said “Mrs Leung, you shouldn’t do that. She may be a prostitute, but you should never look down at her. Imagine if none of us believed your story when you were accused of theft, imagine you were being talked about like you’re doing to Miss Ho, how you would feel?” and Mrs Leung said “I was different. Mine was theft…” and Teng wisely said “Does it matter? Everyone deserves some respect. We shouldn’t disrespect just because her profession is not agreeable with us” but everyone disagreed with Teng when Law Ba walked in and found out “Sok Tui Tin Hao” was here and he was very eager and asked “She left?! Oh I missed her!! I wanted so much to meet her!!” and they all looked at him as he explained “To look, not to engage her services! What a pity I missed her!”.
Oh Law Ba, how much I love you!
But Teng wondered aloud “But why someone with her looks would want to be such a common prostitute? I mean she could have become some rich man’s mistress and earning a lot more rather than that mere $30,000 to $40,000 every month?” and everyone was shocked at the sum “WHAT?! So much?!” and I think Law Ba or someone asked “Ahhhh… good sum eh? Why not change jobs now?” and everyone ignored him.
Good thinking Teng. Why? Why would someone so physically attractive become a lowly prostitute when she could have become a high class prostitute? Won’t know in this episode, so maybe the next.
Jing and friend were walking on the streets having bought groceries.
Wahhhhh!! Sharon Chan dressed so sexy in here. Yes her legs are very long indeed.
Walking, walking when they saw a bunch of Mainland China prostitutes trying to get some customers who were only interested in Jing and they basically insulted her saying “Why she charge so cheap? Probably she is diseased!” and Jing angry ran forward, argued, fought and ended up with Chik and his partner walking by and stopped the fight. 2 prostitutes ran and Chik ran after that. What happened next I believe will never happen if Chik was there. The partner basically said he will search Jing’s body when one of the prostitutes accused her of hiding a weapon and Jing refused knowing only a female officer can search a woman but he pushed her to the fence, rudely told her to part her legs and indeed he searched as he grabbed her and Jing felt humiliated. Kris drove by, saw what happened and drove away. The other friend saw Kris driving by.
Reason 2 why I am beginning to hate Kris. For someone who talks about justice and fairness, her sense of justice and fairness is only reserved for the rich or those she deems worthy.
Jing at home with friend and she was upset. She said “The more I thought about that cop, the more humiliated I feel! I was molested! Yes! He groped me!” and the friend said “If you feel so humiliated, lodge a police report” and Jing said “I will! You be my witness” and grabbed her hand but her friend refused and said “No way! My life will be hell after that. Just count your lucky stars he just groped you and didn’t ask you for sexual favours” and Jing said “I know I am a prostitute but there is a difference between me doing my work where the customer and I have an understanding and me being groped, which I didn’t agree to! You must help me!” and friend said “Why not ask Auntie King’s eldest daughter? She drove by, she saw what happened” and Jing shocked asked “Are you sure it was Auntie King’s eldest daughter?” and friend replied “Yes, very sure!”.
Jing went to see Kris at Auntie King’s shop. Kris was very cold towards her as Auntie King said “Jing is that you? I haven’t seen you for so long…You used to be such a decent looking girl, how come now you’re dressed like that?” and Auntie King was referring to Jing’s rather short pants and all. I think. Can’t remember what she wore. Jing said “Kris, can we talk?” and Auntie King said “I will be at the back if you need me or want to order noodles” and she left them to chat. Kris still sitting down and said “I have a meeting after this, I have a few minutes to spare” and Jing said “Were you there when I was frisked by a cop? My friend said she saw you drove by…” and Kris did not deny that and Jing said “Good, I need you to be my witness. I want to lodge a report against that cop, he groped me” and Kris said “I’m sorry but I don’t think I can be your witness” and Jing said “I know my rights. A male officer can’t body search a woman, he did it intentionally just because I am a prostitute” and Kris said “Look, I only saw him frisk you, I didn’t see him groping you” and Jing stared at her long time friend and then said “Fine, you don’t need to be my witness, you can be my lawyer to represent me” and Kris not looking at Jing said “I’m sorry, I don’t think I can help you” and Jing said “Why not? You promised, when we were in Form 1, you will always help me!” and Kris said emotionally “How am I supposed to represent you? Your word against the cop’s, the judge will believe the cop!” and Jing knew what the problem was and said “I know, my being a prostitute is a problem to you…” and Kris emotionally said “Why Jing? Why? Why do you have to reduce yourself to that level? If you talk about money, my family was poorer than you. If you’re talking about chances, I had fewer chances than you. But I managed to graduate, make a decent living and you… you had chances and yet you threw it all away to become a prostitute. Why Jing? How can you be … be this common whore?!” and Jing knew what was troubling her friend and she was very upset, feeling not just humiliated but cast aside by her only friend whom she thought would be willing to stand by her. I do think at this moment Jing must have felt even more humiliated by what Kris said than what the cop did to her.
Reason 3 why I am beginning to hate Kris. Her entire ‘holier than thou’ speech although she is right to ask why Jing became a prostitute. But before you think oh she was upset because she felt her friend has wasted her own life away, believe me, my impression was Jing being a prostitute itself was a problem for Kris. It is a matter of profession, not reason.
Kris ended the meeting by saying “I do not think you have a case at all against that cop. No judge will believe your story, none!” and Jing was dead upset when suddenly, Law Ba’s voice ring out loud as he said “You have a case!” and Kris looked at him disbelievingly and said “Stop butting in! And why are you here?” and Law Ba said “To eat fish ball. Believe me, you have a case” and Kris said “Why are you helping her?” and Law Ba said cryptically “She and I.. we were lovers…” and Kris was shocked and Jing looked at Law Ba and said “You… you… are…” and Law Ba said as he munched on his stick of fish balls “Don’t you remember me?” and Jing suddenly remembered and shocked she said “You…. are.. Barrister LAW LIK AH?!” and Law Ba smiled “Indeed and no other!” and Jing said “But… but the Barrister Law I know doesn’t eat fish balls…”
Meaning fish balls are such common food, not up to Law Ba’s standard.
Law Ba smiled widely and Kris stood there, dumbfounded.
Next episode, we find out the nature of relationship between Law Ba and Jing as Jing revealed how Law Ba cried on her lap.
INTERESTING!!! Finally, something on what happened to Law Ba that made him who he is now. Love the final scene, the cryptic message and all.
I still don’t get why Jing had to be a common prostitute.
But I find the inconsistency with Mrs Leung’s job situation very strange. And the whole social worker arch storyline beginning to pull down the authencity of this series with impossible stories of super dedicated social workers. I mean I know there are super dedicated social workers but the bunch in here, with their camaraderie and all, a bit too fantasy like.
Anyway no more comments on the story, but performance wise…
Joyce Tang shines as the earnest but not very educated Mrs Leung. Her scene eating the ice cream was funny and her scene with Sam’s Teng was engaging.
Everybody else did well, even Kevin for that matter.
Sharon Chan indeed did well as well. In fact I have no other words to use except did well, very good, engaging. She makes Jing quite believable though I have to wait to know why her sort became that sort of prostitute.
Now… Myolie… oh Myolie Wu… how do I explain why I feel her performance was terrible? I mean she was ok in the beginning but that scene with Sharon in the shop reeks of OVERACTING. Her body language, her face, everything. I know her Kris is very upset, but her sort of upset is like over the top acting sort of upset. Her expressions, her body language, I feel nothing grounded, nothing believable. How do I explain? I don’t know how. But you just watch that last scene and tell me, the way she arched her body, pointing or whatever, her facial expressions… tell me, is that … believable or does she look like someone acting out that scene?
Apart from that, no complaints. Really looking forward to see why Law Lik Ah, who everybody remembers as someone so legendary, so high class, so expensive taste that even fish balls is not worthy to pass through his lips, became Law Ba?
This Episodic Thoughts was written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com, and was originally posted at Point2e.com.